American trips become a bargain

TOURISTS planning trips to the US were celebrating today as the pound broke through the two-dollar level for the first time since September 1992.Kathy May, Senior Sales Consultant for Fred.

TOURISTS planning trips to the US were celebrating today as the pound broke through the two-dollar level for the first time since September 1992.

Kathy May, Senior Sales Consultant for Fred. Olsen Travel in Upper Brook Street, Ipswich, said: “We've definitely had an increase in enquiries to places like New York and the enquiries have turned into bookings, I've done at least 4 this year alone.

Generally people want to book for Christmas time but there now tending to go out of season.”

Kathy said she went for a short visit to New York herself last October and picked up lots of bargains, she said: “I went when the rate was $1.40 to the pound (the equivalent of the Euro now) and it was good value then but obviously now it's even cheaper.”


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Kathy said the most noticeable differences came when eating in restaurants, Broadway shows and designer clothes and trainers, but she warned: “You have to be careful when going through customs on the way home as you're very tempted to over shop!”

The Manager of First Choice in Ipswich, Fay McCormack, also said she had noticed an increase in people wanting to take a trip across the Atlantic in search of bargains.

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She said: “We have done a lot of trips to New York in the past three or fouy months, perhaps there has been a knock on effect because of the increasing value of the pound over there. It is good value for money at the moment.”

But while today's news is good for tourists planning a trip to the states, it could be bad for tourist attractions in this country who rely on American tourists.

The cost of their holidays in this country is going up as their dollars buy fewer pounds - and will make Britain a much less attractive destination for foreign visitors.

The Bank of England was today forced to publish an open letter to the Chancellor after a shock surge in inflation to above three per cent.

The first-ever letter came after the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), the official measure of inflation, rose to 3.1pc last month, more than 1pc above the Government's target for inflation.

The Governor has to write an open letter to Gordon Brown if CPI hits more than 1pc above or below the 2pc target.

Economists said the inflation surge meant an interest rate increase appeared to be a certainty next month, with possibly a further hike later.

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